Christ is Risen! Alleluia!!!
It certainly has been a time in the wilderness of Lent this year, hasn’t it? These 40 days have been like no other in our lifetimes. As I write this article, we are in the middle of our shutdown of non-essential businesses and strong encouragement to practice social distancing. The hope is to reduce the ‘curve’ of COVID-19 infections so that our medical community will not be overwhelmed with those in need of care. Hopefully, in these days of heightened anxiety you have found comfort and strength through your faith.
Entering into Holy Week and Easter, at the time of this writing, I am unsure what our worship will look like? But one thing I know for sure is that God is in control and God is good. On Easter day, whether together in community or via Livestream, we will celebrate that ‘Christ is Risen! He is risen Indeed! Alleluia!’ Easter is a season of great gladness. Why? Because there is hope even in the most difficult situations.
In John’s gospel Jesus shared with the disciples, ‘in a little while you will no longer see me’ (John 16:16). Jesus repeated these words several times, but the disciples just didn’t understand. At one point, Jesus even heard them debating about what He meant by ‘You will not see me’ (John 16:19). As is the case, in the Gospel stories, the disciples simply didn’t get it. They couldn’t understand what Jesus was trying to tell them about His death and resurrection.
As they entered the city, on what would be Jesus’ last days on earth, they were met with people waving palms and shouting, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord’ instead of an angry mob or Roman guards. But no sooner had Jesus and His disciples settled into the upper room, Jesus broached the subject of His upcoming death. Soon the mood changed from celebration to shock and sorrow.
A writer shares, ‘Often in difficult times, we cannot see beyond that moment. Just like that of the disciples. The resurrection was a few days away, but they could not fathom its wondrous coming. God always provides the encouragement we need to stay the course, and Jesus did this for His disciples when He told them, ‘Your sorrow will be turned to joy.’ This also is God’s message of hope and love for us today.’
The point is that despite all that has happened, as people of faith, God’s message of hope and love is that JOY is still here. Christ has never left our side and Christ never will. The grave could not hold Him! Jesus lives! And because Jesus lives, we live too, in the assurance that God is with us! That hope and love can never be defeated. God’s light will always shine no matter what is going on around us. So, let’s give thanks and shout together no matter where we are this Easter, ‘Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!’
Pastor Brown <><
‘Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.’ John 16:20